Officials: Car thieves growing bolder, craftier

Published On: Jul 27 2012 05:21:02 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 27 2012 05:33:30 PM CDT
ATASCOCITA, Texas -

Houston drivers are growing more afraid to leave their cars behind as thieves grow bolder and craftier, officials said.

"They threw a big rock inside my car, so my window was broke," said Charity Garrett.

Garrett was a target of a crime that seems to be  happening more often in the greater Houston area.

Crooks are casing business parking lots and residential streets, searching for the right vehicle to steal or break in to, officials said.

Atascocita, like other Houston-area communities, is on alert for vehicle-related crimes.

Officials said between July 13 and 18, at least 13 auto break-ins were reported. Investigators said the criminals move quickly and have their eyes open for valuables.

Chief Elwood Mitchell with the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office said the crooks often look for cars left unlocked, valuables left on the seat or they strike after watching people park and try to hide their items in the trunk or under a seat.

"If you plan to put things of value inside your trunk, do it before you arrive. Park in well-lit areas. You don't want to make yourself a victim," said Mitchell.

Garrett said her insurance replaced all of her valuables after her car was broken into, but she still felt violated.

"Just sad because it just interrupts things in your life," Charity said.